Are You Having Problems Sleeping?
“Sleep is the best meditation.” The Dalai Lama
We all know someone who is struggling with their sleep and it’s probably the number one issue people come to us with.
So Why Is It A Problem For So Many People?
We are all different and there can be hundreds of potential reasons why a person may suffer from sleep problems and disorders.
Sleep disorders such as Insomnia, Sleep Apnoea, Anxiety, Restless Leg Syndrome, Bruxism, Depression, Medications and Menopause are just some of causes of disrupted sleep and should be investigated more thoroughly on an individual basis. But fear not, there are some excellent remedies that you can start adopting right away.
Good Sleep Hygiene
We are constantly surrounded by devices which emit EMF or Electromagnetic Frequencies. Computers, mobile phones and Ipad’s should be turned off at least ONE hour before bed time. If you drink too much fluid before bed, we all know that this can cause one or two trips to the loo during the night. Who doesn’t love a glass of alcohol, but this too robs you of the REM state sleep (the deeper stage of sleep), and in addition also acts as a diuretic meaning, yes you guessed it, more trips to the bathroom.
Breath And Relax
So many people don’t actually know how to breathe properly and that’s probably because we’ve never been taught. Breathing deeply should incorporate the chest, belly, lower back and rib cage. Most of us only breathe from our chests. Close your eyes, take a deep slow breath through your nose and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Your first few breaths should be deeper than the last, to really open up your lungs.
Ensure Your Bedroom Is Dark
Only 150 years ago, there wouldn’t have been any light outside once the sun went down. So we need to make sure that our bedrooms are as dark as possible.
Don’t Scrimp On Your Mattress and Pillow
Having a good quality mattress is good for your back and comfort, but they do wear out, so if yours is over eight years old, it may be time for a change. The same goes for pillows. Changing your pillows much more frequently is a must; there will be a build up of sweat and skin, undoubtedly contributing to allergies.
If you don’t supplement with Magnesium, then you really should irrespective of sleep issues. Magnesium is responsible for hundreds of functions in the body and yet, most people don’t consume enough through their food. By taking a Magnesium supplement, it has been shown to improve symptoms of fatigue.
Putting a few drops of Lavender Oil on your pillow before bed can induce a relaxing effect on the body. An Epsom Salt bath with 20 drops of Lavender Oil a couple of hours before bed (make sure you use a generous amount), can be extremely therapeutic.
Used for thousands of years, Camomile Tea has been prescribed as a sleep aid and sipping this before bed can help. Passion Flower Tea is also very relaxing for the nervous system.
White noise is a consistent sound or noise that is produced evenly across all audible frequencies. Before you go to sleep, turn on some white noise; you may be surprised at what effect this has. My personal favourite is a fan, but you can even purchase white noise machines.
It sounds logical, but exercise really does help with sleep issues. Even a 15-minute walk can stimulate a good nights sleep.
Some Recipes For Natural Sleep Aids (courtesy of Dr Axe)
There are several different ways you can create your natural sleep aids. Start with the following recipe:
Bedtime Kefir with Turmeric and Cinnamon
- 1 cup goat’s milk kefir
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Dash of cinnamon to taste
- Dash of nutmeg to taste
- Place the kefir in a mug.
- Add the turmeric and blend well.
- Top with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Sip before bedtime.
If you decide to warm the kefir, make sure you don’t boil it. Heating it causes loss of useful probiotics, but it won’t cause the loss of the natural sleep aids magnesium and calcium.
Honey And Salt
Another decade’s old remedy is Honey and Salt and there is even some scientific evidence to validate its effectiveness. Salt can help lower our cortisol levels as well as balance our blood sugar levels. This is quite important for a restful nights sleep. The natural sugars in honey can help by elevating insulin ever so slightly, and this too helps lower cortisol.
What to Do: Combine a tiny amount (1/2 tsp) of a natural raw or Manuka honey with a sprinkle of natural salt, Himalayan or Celtic sea salt and consume 15-20 minutes before bed. Alternatively, it can be added to a cup of chamomile tea.
Sleeping Pills Are Only For Short-Term Use
Although we would never recommend sleeping pills, if taken they should only be used for a short period of time. Some exceptions could be, travelling across time zones, sudden grief or recovering from a medical procedure. Sleeping pills will only treat the symptoms temporarily, they won’t be able to cure insomnia. Over long term use, many people actually experience even more severe forms of insomnia.
Natural Supplement Recommendations
Cytoplan Cyto-Night – contains a mix of ingredients which are naturally soothing to aid with sleep. Comprising key ingredients Glycine, Magnesium, Montmorency Cherry (a natural source of Melatonin) and Hops. Directions: Take 1 hour before bed, this product will not work as well if you have recently eaten, also this is for people who find it difficult getting to sleep rather than waking up during the night. Price £15.80 order from Health Rise or direct from Cytoplan, use code CJ010 for a 10% discount.
Asphalia for natural sleep – contains a plant based substance which aids restful sleep and maintains immune competence. The milled plant mix contains anti-oxidants five times more powerful than Vitamin C. The same bio-molecule is known to help ensure a restful sleep without disturbing vital sleep patterns. Price £20.39 (2 months supply if one capsule were taken) take 30 mins before bedtime. Order from Health Rise with 10% discount, or direct from Health Leads.
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